The stadiums are again fully occupied for outdoor events. The government is revising the SOPs More Sports News


NEW DELHI: Soon fans will be seen in the sports arenas cheering for their favorite players and teams as the country’s sports authorities lifted spectator management restrictions on Sunday by including crowds in stadiums for outdoor events during upcoming tournaments full capacity.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYAS) has revised its guidelines for opening stadiums to sporting events by allowing 100 percent seating capacity for outdoor meetings and removing the previous crowd cap, which allowed a maximum of 50 percent of total stadium capacity. Authorities are confident the stadiums will be full again and hope that people will be vaccinated against Covid-19 and that the virus will show a downward trend in the country.
The organizers of the World Shooting Championships in March or the Indian Premier League (IPL) could benefit from the move. While the outdoor shotgun events at Karni Singh Shooting Range (KSSR) can attract large numbers of spectators, if the tournament is held in the country, IPL management can make arrangements to allow 100 percent spectators for its league games.
“At outdoor sporting events, spectators are given full seating capacity,” says the ministry’s revised Standard Operating Instructions (SOP). “For larger events, video surveillance can be scheduled to detect overcrowding of the entrance and exit gates and seating areas. In the sports arena, the assembly of spectators is subject to the instructions of the Ministry of the Interior (MHA) and from time to time the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), “explained the SOP.
The ministry announced that crowd management will be carried out in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Interior (MHA) issued on January 27th. The revised SOP issued by the ministry stated that the guidelines in consultation with all parties involved and the “Contests should be conducted strictly in accordance with the MHA guidelines”, including Covid-19-appropriate behavior, regular hand disinfection, wearing face masks, physical distancing, breathing etiquette and installing the Arogya Setu app.
For indoor meetings, under current government restrictions, sports venues had a limit of 200 people for indoor events.
According to the SOP, a Covid-19 task force is formed by the organizing committee for every sports competition, which guides and monitors all athletes and athlete support personnel (ASPs). This task force will be responsible for the overall implementation of the protocols and other instructions of the MHA and MoHFW.
All athletes and ASPs must undergo a thermal examination when entering the venue. “Depending on risk perception and the extent of the events, the Organizing Committee may consider performing RT-PCR tests of athletes and ASPs within 72 hours of the event. Only those with negative RT-PCR reports are allowed to participate the event, “read the SOP. For this purpose, the organizing committee can also establish suitable links with ICMR-approved laboratories for Covid-19 tests by athletes and ASPs who report without a Covid test report.
The SOP also prohibits athletes and ASPs who live in safety zones from participating in the competition and those at higher risk of mingling directly with athletes, coaches and other staff. “ASPs at higher risk, ie older, pregnant and with underlying medical conditions, need to take special precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to frontline work that requires direct contact with other athletes / coaches / other employees.”
The guidelines were also aimed at support staff, whose physical presence is not required to work from home via “teleworking / video conferencing”. Thermal screening of all athletes and ASPs must be performed before access to common playing fields is allowed.